Sunday, July 08, 2007

My lovely wife sent me out today, not specifically to fish but to take Panga out for a few hours to get some exercise. Of course she knows full well that to do so involved me carrying a fly rod and looking for something to catch. I was torn all day yesterday. Part of me was itching to grab the 4 wt cane rod and head up into the upper reaches of the Clackamas and catch a billion tiny trout on dry flies. The thing is, trout are easy to catch. Especially small trout. I could put on a march brown pattern right now in July, fish it along the seams of that beautiful free stone stream and catch as many 7-11 inch fish at I could release. It sounded very appealing, but the real intention was to let Panga run, and the boulder strewn clackamas river, while beautiful, isn't the kind of ground where Panga can get up to speed. I hit Sauvie Island instead.

Well, I was reminded that Sauvie Island is one of the premier locations for carp around Portland. There are fish in literally every inch of water on that big island, and there is a ton of water from which to choose. I did have two problems though. One, the water I fished was all colored up and visibility was maybe an inch. Two, the sun hid for 2/3 of the time I was out. When the sun peeked out around 1200...I could finally see fish in catchable positions. During the morning, I saw mostly things like this:

While that is indeed a great sight if you are a carp fisherman, try catching one of those fish! I did everything including feeding them a fly directly into their open mouths, but they wouldn't look at an artificial. It was still a great moment watching those cloopers go nuts on vegetation and cotton. As the sun came out I ran into these three fellows.

Nice guys. This marks the first time I've actually run into bow fisherman. We chatted for a bit and I think they were pretty surprised to see me stalking the edges of the slough with a fly rod in hand. One fellow mentioned that he had shot carp in that area as "big as a fireplug." Interesting way to put it, and while I have yet to see a fish that big out there, I'd love to meet one! We went our separate ways and I finally started getting into some fish. The trouble was that I simply couldn't see the fish well enough to know when to set the hook. I was making great casts again with that fiberglass 7 wt fenwick (LOVE that rod) but I simply couldn't spot a take. Instead, I'd wait too long with my fly near a cloud, some bubbles, or a shadow and then feel a quick tap, tap that ended with me missing another carp. I finally did put it together and landed this one fish...a small guy, probably 5-6 lbs.

So with one fish in to hand, I called it a day. Panga was tired. She had run herself out and for the last 30 minutes I fished had dug herself a little hole and was just sitting there, watching me miss fish after fish. Smug little dog...

1 comment:

Wendy Berrell said...

Great video. I bet those fish were near impossible to catch.

Looks like a cool place to fish.